Here’s where it stands at the moment:
There is no agreement, Boehner said in a room in the Capitol Saturday, and there are no negotiations between House Republicans and the White House, since Obama rejected the speaker’s effort to lift the debt ceiling for six weeks and reopen government while setting up a budget negotiating process.
Harry Reid starts putting the screws on:
“I was happy to see the Republicans engaged in talks with the president, the House Republicans. That’s over with. It’s done. They’re not talking anymore,” Reid said. “I say to my friends on the Republican side of this Senate, time is running out.”
Methinks the Democrats believe they have a very, very strong hand here. Their buddies in the media have drummed it into the public that this is the Republicans’ fault, and will continue to reliably deliver that message. Polls are a bit unclear, but so far the gist of them seem to indicate that the public blames the Republicans far more than Democrats.
But I really wonder how many are really paying attention, even at this point. I think for most people this is just background noise, buzzing and annoying but in the distance. What will really matter is how their lives play out in the next year, just as Nate Silver says (yes, that Nate Silver—who, by the way, I have long had a lot of respect for, even though I didn’t like the news he was delivering back in 2012):
…[P]residential elections are more the exception than the rule. As I discuss in my book, the more common tendency instead is that people (and especially the “experts” who write about the issues for a living) overestimate the degree of predictability in complex systems. There are some other exceptions besides presidential elections — sports, in many respects; and weather prediction, which has become much better in recent years. But for the most part, the experts you see on television are much too sure of themselves.
That’s been my impression of the coverage of the shutdown: The folks you see on TV are much too sure of themselves. They’ve been making too much of thin slices of polling and thinner historical precedents that might not apply this time around.
There’s been plenty of bullshit, in other words. We really don’t know all that much about how the shutdown is going to be resolved, or how the long-term political consequences are going to play out.
Please read the whole thing.
And I wonder if the same isn’t true for the debt ceiling negotiations, a fight which is predicted to potentially have far greater ramifications, although no one is quite certain what they would be.